As many of you may know, the BBC is going to be producing a television movie entitled An Adventure in Space and Time about the creation of that little, unknown television show from 1963, Doctor Who. It’s being written by current series writer and uber-fan, Mark Gatiss. Today it was announced who would be playing the key players.
The big announcement to come out is that David Bradley, who portrayed Filch in the Harry Potter films, and who played the baddie in this season’s “Dinosaurs on a Spaceship” episode of Who, has been cast to play William Hartnell, who, of course, was the first actor to play the Doctor. This is a pretty genius idea. Not only do the two actors look similar, Bradley’s got the grouchy thing down pat.
Here’s the full press release from BBC America, who will be co-producing the 90-minute special:
Announced today, David Bradley (Harry Potter) is set to play the first ever Doctor, the iconic William Hartnell, in the drama written by Mark Gatiss (Sherlock, Doctor Who), who will also serve as executive producer alongside Steven Moffat (Doctor Who, Sherlock) and Caroline Skinner (Doctor Who, The Fades). An Adventure in Space and Time (1×90) is a co-production between BBC Cymru Wales and BBC America. The drama will premiere later this year on BBC America.
The BBC’s Head of Drama Sydney Newman, credited with the creation of the show, will be portrayed by Brian Cox (The Bourne Supremacy, Bourne Identity) and the producer, Verity Lambert, by Jessica Raine (Call the Midwife). The director of the first ever episode An Unearthly Child, Waris Hussein, will be played by Sacha Dhawan (History Boys, Last Tango In Halifax).
Mark Gatiss, writer and executive producer said: “What a cast! I’m utterly delighted that everyone’s favorite Time Lord will be in such brilliant and stellar company. We have a terrific team who can’t wait to tell the fascinating and surprising story of how the Doctor began his journey through Space and Time.”
Richard De Croce, SVP Programming, BBC AMERICA added: “We’re excited to work with BBC Cymru Wales on this co-production, allowing us to bring An Adventure in Space and Time to Doctor Who fans on both sides of the pond. Mark and the talented team behind the project are sure to create a special that will delight audiences while commemorating this incredible series’ 50th anniversary.”
Commenting on his upcoming role, David Bradley said, “I’m absolutely thrilled. I first heard about this role from Mark while watching the Diamond Jubilee flotilla from the roof of the National Theatre. When he asked if I would be interested, I almost bit his hand off! Mark has written such a wonderful script not only about the birth of a cultural phenomenon, but a moment in television’s history. William Hartnell was one of the finest character actors of our time and as a fan I want to make sure that I do him justice. I’m so looking forward to getting started.”
An Adventure in Space and Time is a co-production between BBC Cymru Wales and BBC AMERICA. Filming begins at the beginning of February at BBC’s Television Centre in London before moving to Wimbledon Studios. The drama is produced by Matt Strevens (Misfits, Skins) and directed by Terry McDonough (Breaking Bad, The Street).
This is excellent. I’m very excited for this film. It sort of makes me wish they were casting the other Doctors who are no longer with us. What do you think of this casting or about the film in general? Let us know in the comments below.